Help Gaff Schooner Rigging

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Jimbo4203, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Jimbo4203
    Joined: Sep 2014
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Whangarei NZ

    Jimbo4203 Jimmy R

    I have just changed from a fin keel 36' sloop with total control from the cockpit (14 rope clutches for solo sailing) to a 42' Brewer Gaff topsail schooner with the running rigging partly installed, no rope clutches. Sails are laced to the mast. 3 reefs for main and forsail. The Gaffs have 2 halyards, throat and mid span. The inner Jib is on a boom hinged 2' back from the forestay and a horse with sheet back to the cockpit via railing fairleads (self tacking). There are 2 tracks positioned for the fore jib and Genoa plus a reacher. There is a Fisherman sail for between the masts hoist. There are 3 coach roofs separated by the 2 masts. Main mast has spreaders whilst the fore mast just cap shrouds. Running backstays on the main mast with highfields.
    I have a box full of bronze terminal fittings blocks a short horse etc that had been removed before the coach roofs were replaced. There are 2 winches on the aft coach roof under the dodger plus 2 genoa winches on the cockpit coaming.
    I sail this craft with my wife and would like advice on what halyards/sheets should ideally be led back to the 2 coach roof winches. That would then allow me to sort out turning blocks fairleads etc.
    We look forward to hearing through this forum
    Jimmy R
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 497, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    Well, all boats have a rigging personality, dictated by owner preferences, so you'll have to decide what you want and need, typically with some use.

    Some like everything in the cockpit, but this just isn't practical on a gaff schooner. Generally, the peak and throat halyards and the lifts are belayed at the mast, either on it or near it, though some tie them off at the rail abreast of them. Nothing happens quickly on a schooner and managing the sheets and peak halyards, are the lines that will see the most work, so an argument can be made for the peaks to be near the sheets on the coach roof. Jiffy reefing works on these sails as well as any other type, so rig up for this for each. A well setup set of jacks can be a great benefit when reefing.

    As far as topsails and fishermen, these sails aren't used very often, unless you have sufficient crew and they get handled differently then the working sails, so your setup on these will be application specific, especially the topsails, which often depends on the type. I like a leader and a halyard on a topsail, but there are other ways, which you'll just have to experiment with, until you're agreeable with one.
  3. Jimbo4203
    Joined: Sep 2014
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Whangarei NZ

    Jimbo4203 Jimmy R

    Gaff Schooner running gear

    Thanks for your help. I had slab on the Sloop all back to the cockpit. I could reef in any weather in 20secs. I had the main halyard marked at the drop points, it was excellent. My next step was to marry the tack & clew with an equaliser to halve the ropes. The booms on Southpaw are solid wood so all lines are external. It becomes hazardous with the unused reef lines' "bellies" looking for something to catch up on before the slack's taken in! Especially with the wind vane steering out the back.
    As you say each boat has its own characteristics so we will have every thing at the mast for now and work out what is best for us. We cruise between NZ and the Pacific isles so the night watches need a system that works every time easily. Im thinking a boom cover-lazy jack rig with a separate longitudinal strong small-mesh pocket at the base each side of the boom for the reef lines to run in out of harms way might be a good thing. All food for thought. Thanks again. ps. you design some eye-candy craft Par. Nice.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.